CALLS have been made for a six month rate exemption for new businesses starting up in Tullamore.
Cllr Molly Buckley put forward the motion to the February meeting of Tullamore Town Council calling for the exemption. “Every day we are seeing businesses closing. The heart of the town is going out of it. We have to look at this for new businesses, on a phased basis.”
Supporting Cllr Buckley’s motion, Cllr Tony McCormack suggested that it it could be done on an incremental basis.
“Businesses are suffering badly particularly in the town centre. Anything, we can do to create an atmosphere. It is an extra cost for them. Unfortunately, it is part of our funding basis and the issue will have to be looked at nationally. We need to do something to get business into the town. We have to start somewhere.”
Cllr Buckley pointed out, “We want to get the heart back into the town.” Ruth McNally, SEO of Tullamore Town Council, explained that there are national regulations, set in law, governing the issue of rates.
However, she said that she has spoken with other Town Clerks on the issue and there appears to be a business incentives schemes working in some towns, which could go some way to help businesses. “However, in terms of just deciding to wave it [rates], it can’t just be done.”
Cllr Buckley proposed that the Council should look at this business incentive scheme. “It is worth exploring it for the businesses in the town,” she said.